Referrals from Macomb County Helpline.

Charity programs, which the Helpline service can offer referrals to, are for low income families in Macomb County. The agency, using a combination of grants and donations from the community, provide support to the vulnerable with everything from food to utility bill help. Clients can turn to a food pantry for groceries, or call the main office for referrals to other support services.

Find food assistance

There are a few different options for residents. Provided they meet income and other conditions that are in place, the charity can provide groceries from a pantry or a meal from a soup kitchen. Senior citizens in the area also may have a free meal delivered to their home in some situations.

Meals On Wheels is for elderly home bound clients in Macomb County. Another criteria is the applicant needs to be by themselves and living without family, as well as meet the income conditions that are in place. The recipients will have limited mobility which impacts the ability to cook a meal for themselves.

Not only will the person receive a hot, low cost meal, but the volunteer driver from the Helpline affiliated organization or a partner charity will also check up on the person's health. Not only that, but the visitor may be the only companion they have over a period of time, so it provides them company.

The items from a food bank are of course another option. These are intended to provide emergency aid for a defined period of time. This means that the pantry can't be turned to for a long term solution, and the food items passed out are limited and targeted. The centers may have fruits, vegetables, baby formula, and even personal hygiene items.

The food pantry is a good option for when the household budget is not adequate and it will stretch any further. Provided they meet all income qualifications, visitors will be given some form of healthy groceries which includes a nutritional balance of the major food groups. Or clients can get referred to longer term options, such as Commodity Supplemental Food Program or SNAP food stamps.




Information on funds for bills or rent from Helpline

This is very limited and depends of availability of private donations or government grants. This financial aid will be targeted at families facing an eviction or disconnection of their energy bills. The client also needs to have some source of income coming in as well as a plan for self-sufficiency, as noted below for case management.

These resources were designed to provide emergency financial assistance to customers or tenants who are past due and unable to pay their rent or electric bill. For very low income households, any aid can be combined with cash grants from LIHEAP. The money from Helpine partners can be used for various sources of fuel, such as electricity, propane, natural gas, or like expenses.

If someone has a job they are starting, but need a ride to it at first until they can save money for a car, then there are agencies in Macomb County that can arrange this. This can either be addressed in the form of bus tokens for public transit, or maybe a gasoline voucher.

Self-sufficiency is available as part of case management. Staff from Helpline work with the individual on various issues, and take a holistic approach to avoiding the hardship. This means that everything from employment to credit counseling and budgeting is addressed.

As part of this process, there will be an extensive interview with the person seeking financial aid, whether it is for rent or some other bill. It will address all aspects of their life, as the plan needs to be comprehensive and measurable. Each plan put into place as part of the case management process identifies barriers to achieving goals so that all obstacles are addressed, whether it is childcare, housing, transportation or even mental health. Then, once agreed to, the progress of the participant will be monitored.

For a whole host of referrals, the Macomb County Helpline service can be reached at 1-800-552-1183.



By Jon McNamara

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